Forty-Five Things I Learned in the Gulag


18 bookmarks. First posted by farley13 7 days ago.


'I realized that the feeling a man preserves longest is anger. There is only enough flesh on a hungry man for anger: everything else leaves him indifferent. -- I discovered that the world should be divided not into good and bad people but into cowards and non-cowards. Ninety-five percent of cowards are capable of the vilest things, lethal things, at the mildest threat. -- I learned to “plan” my life one day ahead, no more.'
psychology  trauma  joycamp 
2 days ago by adamcrowe
1. The extreme fragility of human culture, civilization. A man becomes a beast in three weeks, given heavy labor, cold, hunger, and beatings.

2. The main means for depraving the soul is the cold. Presumably in Central Asian camps people held out longer, for it was warmer there.

3. I realized that friendship, comradeship, would never arise in really difficult, life-threatening conditions. Friendship arises in difficult but bearable conditions (in the hospital, but not at the pit face).

4. I realized that the feeling a man preserves longest is anger. There is only enough flesh on a hungry man for anger: everything else leaves him indifferent.

5. I realized that Stalin’s “victories” were due to his killing the innocent—an organization a tenth the size would have swept Stalin away in two days.


6. I realized that humans were human because they were physically stronger and clung to life more than any other animal: no horse can survive work in the Far North.
advice  wisdom  death 
5 days ago by ramitsethi
via Pinboard (Popular items from Pinboard) https://pinboard.in/popular/
IFTTT  Feedly 
5 days ago by sbmandal
Must read.
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6 days ago by jgordon
For fifteen years the writer Varlam Shalamov was imprisoned in the Gulag for participating in “counter-revolutionary Trotskyist activities.” He endured six of those years enslaved in the gold mines of Kolyma, one of the coldest and most hostile places on earth. via Pocket
IFTTT  Pocket 
6 days ago by kkahnharris
For fifteen years the writer Varlam Shalamov was imprisoned in the Gulag for participating in “counter-revolutionary Trotskyist activities.” He endured six of…
from instapaper
6 days ago by evanwalsh
via The Paris Review https://ift.tt/2izNVAw
7 days ago by farley13